So, I heard the news.
Alright, no. I'm not going to actually cancel it. I didn't when they theorized that Twilight's mom was the author of the books, and I'm not going to do it now. Nope, the only reason why I'll stop writing that fic is due to good old-fashioned laziness.
But I wanted to get your attention in order to ask a simple question and see what you, the reader, thinks about this concept. It's been happening for quite a while, and it is a very good reason to stop writing a fic, but... well. Let's get down to the discussion, shall we?
It's without surprise that most people here would read something with the hopes that it was based on canon. Things that are flippant and disregarding of that fact are awesome only BECAUSE of the dichotomy (for example, a lot of people like the concept of molestia because that's not how she would ever act in canon), and if you want to make something different, you need to know what the standard is first.
Many times I've heard an author say "Oh, canon fucked up my fic!!!" or "I can't continue, nothing I wrote makes sense anymore in terms of the canon", and they willingly stop and drop what they have. There's a threshold, of course, and it varies from writer to writer, but inevitably the 'established' always comes to bite us on the ass.
This applies more to the writers who aren't flagrantly trying to twist the story, but rather, trying to make what they write fit into said canon. The concept of things getting broken usually doesn't apply to those sort of fics where the base understanding of how it works is the agreement that it isn't happening within the structure of the established show. For example, HiE fics, Fallout Equestria, Winning Pony, etc.
So for all of us unlucky ones who venture into the ground which can be flip-turned upside down at any moment, what do we do?
Well, I'd like to take a moment, so sit right there, and tell you all about my own situation with this fic of mine named Daring Do and the Heart of Storms.
The story's main concept is about how Daring Do was accidentally drawn forth from the books due to a magical accident by Twilight, and Rainbow Dash, her biggest fan, has to struggle with the idea and the concept of the 'character' from the books not being the same as the one who appears. The fic heavily relies on telling stories about Daring Do's history and life - the bits that aren't actually in the books, in a suggestion that she's actually a character from an otherworldly plane, or perhaps there's some magic in those words. But nevertheless, I've established that Daring Do is in fact a work of fiction.
The latest episode of MLP, spoilers aside, basically states that Daring Do isn't. (I actually have not watched any of the Season 4 episodes yet, surprise surprise, but everyone's raving about it and it's a bit hard to avoid.)
This is one of those things that overturns not just a truth but an entire concept. It's not even as simple as Twilight getting her wings -- all one has to do is say the fic was written before the events of Season 4.
It's honestly quite a crushing feeling when it happens. The reasons why vary, but for me, personally, it's just a whole lot of annoyances that come with trying to make up for it in the story (if you're like me and you like things to be as accurate as possible) or having to realise that you've written yourself into a proverbial corner. Another thing that stories do that people appreciate for their cleverness is the ability to weave possibilities within the realm of canon. The extension of canon is something not that easy to do when you deal with big subjects, and there is a very visceral level of appreciation that people have for that in this regard. Having canon change on you basically is akin to a dog coming over and taking a small poopy on your sidewalk chalk masterpiece.
So what do I do now?
Actually, that's not the question. For me, it's pretty simple. I'm going to keep writing anyway. I don't think this really should bother me or impede my actions, but I want to put it to YOU, the reader.
If you were in my circumstance, what would you do, and why? How would you feel and react to such news?
I use myself as the model here because of convenience, of course, but it applies to any similar circumstance, and a lot of you MAY have even come across the same thing. Writing a super epic and then suddenly everything gets pulled out from under you because someone decided to write a truth in the show that conflicts entirely with everything you've set your foundations up upon. Do share, if you have a story of your own.
And I also have something else to consider.
Does it actually matter?
Everyone's perceptions now have changed. Everyone's written it into their brains now about what the 'reality' of the situation is. Therefore, anyone new who comes and finds this fic and reads it will now instantly question why this so flagrant of the truth. We've ALL read fics before where we go "No, this is clearly not right. They don't act like this/don't have this/did this" and give frowny faces at the story for being too out there. This is a harsh truth, but inevitably, my own fic is going to suffer the same down the road, with people saying "This is not riiight!"
But now that we're all adjusting to new information, the question to the current readers is:
Will this new information change your perception of what's already been written and how it will end?
Will the new realities change your thoughts on this enough that you feel that you can't enjoy it anymore? When a paradigm shift occurs, we usually have to discard one or two things. It's basic human nature to be unable to handle two opposing truths at the same time, and while obviously mine is the 'untruth' and the canon is the 'truth', there still exists some degree of cognitive dissonance. There are readers who get turned off from fics that no longer keep to the standard, and we ALL know what happened when it was announced that Twilight was going to become a princess. That was just a case of it going the opposite direction -- the fanworks and the whole strength of the body of the fanscape overriding an idea that no one really liked in canon.
So, do you think you'd be able to enjoy a fic in the exact same way, with no new bias or change of consideration, given something like this happens?
I'd like to hear from you, so leave your thoughts in the comments below!